1. #1
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    Default Cold weather scba operation

    Well its that time of year. Here in Ohio the weather has been bone chilling cold. This A.M. had a structure fire and had some belt mounted scba's freeze up. No big shock at these temp. It was between 3 above and 5 below,depending on which thermometer you look at, but at that temp. who cares. This was the first structure fire a couple of new ff have been on. Are the any secrets to keeping them operable besides trying to keep them as dry as possible will waiting for a task, keeping the covers on the breathing tube outlet to keep water out, make sure to us neckstrap to keep water out of facepiece? Once they freeze up any tricks to get them working again beside heat? I have popped the by-pass a couple of time to free them up, don't know if this is good or bad, but has worked. We are replacing our belt mounted regulators with face mount, just waiting their arrival. Is their anything different to do for the facemount compared to the belt?

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    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    How about a handwarmer pack taped to the regulator? When we had the Scott 2A SCBAs in my FD, a few of us kept the handwarmer packs in our bunkers for just that purpose. Pop it, tape it and you're good to go! I never had a regulator freeze on me.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Stand closer to the flames? (Sorry, I know it's not helpful, but someone had to say it!)
    Luke

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    Never had a regulator freeze but I have had the exhaust valve freeze up to where I started blowing spent air out through the seals along my cheaks. Not a critical situation but I had to bail out of the building to get it thawed and dried out.

    -bob-

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    Up here in the great white north it don't matter what you do, at -30F nothing works very well. You jump in the closest warmest rig and thaw out for a bit. Most times when its that cold whatever is burning is going to be a loser because unless you can keep whater flowing your going to freeze up a rig or two, especially if its a rural hitch. We always like to keep a 500 watt halogan lamp close by to thaw out primers, valves etc. The fun starts when you have travelled more than 60 seconds to a call and try to hook up this new clear hard suction hose to a drop tank. Kinda like tying to have a whizz first thing in the morning if get my drift

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    Been on the water side of a docked boat and had mask mounted regulator freeze on me, quite a few interesting moments there... No great tips other than keep it as dry as possible. I like Gonzo's hand warmer idea and might give that a try sometime.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    My partner had a structure last week during the early
    a.m. It was around 10 degrees (I know that is nothing
    for you northerners). Where the regulator hose met the
    tank it shrank in the cold and began to leak air slowly.

    Also not a big deal, but a concern none the less.

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